Awarding Grades in Summer 2021
As you are aware, the government has made the decision to remove examinations in the summer of 2021. We understand and appreciate that you will have questions about the process of awarding grades. We want to be transparent in our approach so that all students and their families understand how we will determine the final grades, and more importantly how our practice meets the guidance that has been published. We want to ensure that our students receive a fair grade that does not disadvantage any student.
You can view the Department for Education’s overview infographic about how grades will be awarded in the summer here.
We understand that many students and parents will be anxious about the awarding of grades but would like to take this opportunity to reassure you about the nature of the process – in particular, we welcome the flexibility we have in the approach to assessment this year.
Centre assessed grades must be submitted to the exam boards by Friday, 18 June 2021. Therefore, we cannot stress enough how important the work that students will be completing over the next three months is as it will provide the final pieces of evidence for teachers to use when determining those grades. We are, however, mindful of ensuring that we get the balance right between the wellbeing of young people and their families, and the need to set up a process that is fair and robust. The details below should give you a good insight into the process we will be using for awarding grades this summer.
Following guidance from Ofqual and the Department for Education, we can confirm that students will:
- be assessed on the content they have been taught;
- continue to work on NEAs and coursework as this will contribute to their final grade;
- complete assessments in lessons which we will use to determine their grades.
Each department will use a range of evidence from across the duration of the course, including:
- assessments provided by exam boards, for example past papers, practice or sample papers;
- questions provided by exam boards in late March;
- NEA or coursework;
- school devised tasks that reflect the specification;
- substantial class or homework;
- Internal Tests;
- mock exams taken over the course of study;
- Art portfolios;
- records of a student’s capability over the course, particularly in Music, Drama and P.E;
- records of a student’s progress & performance over the course of the study.
After Easter your son or daughter will continue to complete assessments in their normal lessons. Teachers will tell students in advance when the assessments will occur and the area of study. (This will be recorded in Google Classrooms.) Students must prepare fully for these assessments and take them seriously as recent evidence is likely to be more representative of their performance in a subject. The assessments will be marked in line with mark schemes from the examination specification and we will also refer to published guidance from examination boards. This will help us to make fair and consistent judgements.
We would like to take this opportunity to assure you that as a school we will be building in processes around assessment so grades awarded in the summer will be as fair as possible. This means that your child’s teacher will be working from exam board guidance as well as working across their department so that grades are moderated and given proper oversight. We will also be working with the Trust to ensure there is an additional quality assurance process, where necessary. At the same time, examination boards will conduct their own checks, through a combination of random sampling and more targeted scrutiny.
Since September we have shared two reports with predicted grades. These grades were based on teachers’ professional judgements on what your child could potentially achieve in the traditional summer examinations. In a normal school year these predictions differ from actual results achieved.
This year schools have been asked to assess students at the normal performance standard and not on potential. Therefore, the grades on previous reports may not reflect the actual results achieved in the summer. As stated above, it is important that your child prepares fully and completes the assessments for us to have a strong evidence base to determine their final grade.
Revision and Coursework Support
Teachers have already started to signpost revision activities and provide guidance to students on how they can prepare for assessments. After Easter, we will be issuing further information on revision, including after school sessions. Students can, of course, access online revision software, such as Tassomai and SAM learning.
If your child is entitled to exam access arrangements we will ensure that this is in place for their assessments. If exam access was not in place in the past as the need was not identified, we will award special consideration.
We will issue results on the 12th August.
If a student wishes to appeal, we will undertake an initial review to check all of our processes were followed correctly and no errors were made. If we find an administrative error, a revised grade can be submitted to the examination board. If, following this initial review, the student still wants to appeal, they must ask the school to submit a formal appeal. The examination board will then check that the centre followed its own processes and the examination board requirements, as well as reviewing the evidence used to determine the grade, ensuring that there ‘was a reasonable exercise of academic judgement.’ It is important to be aware that grades can go up or down as a result of the appeal.
This is still an unfolding picture and we are still waiting on further guidance from exam boards. We will keep you regularly updated as we receive more information.
If you have a question, please complete this Short Form
Statement of Qualifications
Shortly after the Easter holidays we will issue a statement of qualifications to all students which will detail the qualifications that your child has been entered for. If there are any issues with these once they are sent, please email email@example.com and we can then address them for you.
Executive Head Teacher
Assistant Head Teacher